Isaiah 58:5
New International Version
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one's head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the LORD?

New Living Translation
You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?

English Standard Version
Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Berean Study Bible
Is this the fast I have chosen, a day for a man to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

New American Standard Bible
"Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one's head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

King James Bible
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

Christian Standard Bible
Will the fast I choose be like this: A day for a person to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Contemporary English Version
Do you think the LORD wants you to give up eating and to act as humble as a bent-over bush? Or to dress in sackcloth and sit in ashes? Is this really what he wants on a day of worship?

Good News Translation
When you fast, you make yourselves suffer; you bow your heads low like a blade of grass and spread out sackcloth and ashes to lie on. Is that what you call fasting? Do you think I will be pleased with that?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Will the fast I choose be like this: A day for a person to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD?

International Standard Version
"Is this the kind of fast that I have chosen, merely a day for a person to humble himself? Is it merely for bowing down one's head like a bulrush, for lying on sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call a fast, an acceptable day to the LORD?

NET Bible
Is this really the kind of fasting I want? Do I want a day when people merely humble themselves, bowing their heads like a reed and stretching out on sackcloth and ashes? Is this really what you call a fast, a day that is pleasing to the LORD?

New Heart English Bible
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Is this the kind of fasting I have chosen? Should people humble themselves for [only] a day? Is fasting just bowing your head like a cattail and making your bed from sackcloth and ashes? Is this what you call fasting? Is this an acceptable day to the LORD?

JPS Tanakh 1917
Is such the fast that I have chosen? The day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, And to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, And an acceptable day to the LORD?

New American Standard 1977
“Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed, And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast and an acceptable day to the LORD?

King James 2000 Bible
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

American King James Version
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

American Standard Version
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Jehovah?

Brenton Septuagint Translation
I have not chosen this fast, nor such a day for a man to afflict his soul; neither though thou shouldest bend down thy neck as a ring, and spread under thee sackcloth and ashes, neither thus shall ye call a fast acceptable.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Is this such a fast as I have chosen: for a man to afflict his soul for a day? is this it, to wind his head about like a circle, and to spread sackcloth and ashes? wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the Lord?

Darby Bible Translation
Is such the fast that I have chosen, a day for a man to afflict his soul, -- that he should bow down his head as a bulrush, and spread sackcloth and ashes [under him]? Wilt thou call this a fast, and a day acceptable to Jehovah?

English Revised Version
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

Webster's Bible Translation
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

World English Bible
Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh?

Young's Literal Translation
Like this is the fast that I choose? The day of a man's afflicting his soul? To bow as a reed his head, And sackcloth and ashes spread out? This dost thou call a fast, And a desirable day -- to Jehovah?
Study Bible
True Fasts and Sabbaths
4You fast with contention and strife to strike viciously with your fist. You cannot fast as you do today and have your voice be heard on high. 5Is this the fast I have chosen, a day for a man to deny himself, to bow his head like a reed, and to spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and a day acceptable to the LORD? 6Is not the fast I have chosen to break the chains of wickedness, to untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and tear off every yoke?…
Cross References
Matthew 6:16
When you fast, do not be somber like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they already have their reward.

Leviticus 16:31
It is a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.

1 Kings 21:27
When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, and fasted. He lay down in sackcloth and walked around meekly.

Ezra 8:21
And there by the Ahava Canal, I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us and our children, with all our possessions.

Isaiah 49:8
This is what the LORD says: "In the time of favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and appoint you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land, to apportion its desolate inheritances,

Isaiah 61:2
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of our God's vengeance, to comfort all who mourn,

Zechariah 7:5
"Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for these seventy years, was it really for Me that you fasted?

Treasury of Scripture

Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?

it such

2 Chronicles 20:3
And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.

Ezra 10:6
Then Ezra rose up from before the house of God, and went into the chamber of Johanan the son of Eliashib: and when he came thither, he did eat no bread, nor drink water: for he mourned because of the transgression of them that had been carried away.

Nehemiah 9:1,2
Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them…

a day for a man to afflict his soul.

Isaiah 58:3
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.

Leviticus 16:29
And this shall be a statute for ever unto you: that in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, ye shall afflict your souls, and do no work at all, whether it be one of your own country, or a stranger that sojourneth among you:

to spread

1 Kings 21:27-29
And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly…

2 Kings 6:30
And it came to pass, when the king heard the words of the woman, that he rent his clothes; and he passed by upon the wall, and the people looked, and, behold, he had sackcloth within upon his flesh.

Job 2:8
And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

an acceptable

Isaiah 49:8
Thus saith the LORD, In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages;

Isaiah 61:2
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

Psalm 69:13
But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.







Lexicon
Is
יִֽהְיֶה֙ (yih·yeh)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

this
הֲכָזֶ֗ה (hă·ḵā·zeh)
Pg, Preposition-k | Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

the fast
צ֣וֹם (ṣō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6685: Fasting, a fast

I have chosen,
אֶבְחָרֵ֔הוּ (’eḇ·ḥā·rê·hū)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - first person common singular | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 977: To try, select

a day
י֛וֹם (yō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

for a man
אָדָ֖ם (’ā·ḏām)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being

to deny
עַנּ֥וֹת (‘an·nō·wṯ)
Verb - Piel - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 6031: To be bowed down or afflicted

himself,
נַפְשׁ֑וֹ (nap̄·šōw)
Noun - feminine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5315: A soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion

to bow
הֲלָכֹ֨ף (hă·lā·ḵōp̄)
Preposition | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct
Strong's Hebrew 3721: To bend, bend down, be bent or bowed

his head
רֹאשׁ֗וֹ (rō·šōw)
Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7218: The head

like a reed,
כְּאַגְמֹ֜ן (kə·’aḡ·mōn)
Preposition-k | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 100: A bulrush, a rope of bulrushes

and to spread out
יַצִּ֔יעַ (yaṣ·ṣî·a‘)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3331: To strew as a, surface

sackcloth
וְשַׂ֤ק (wə·śaq)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8242: A mesh, coarse loose cloth, sacking, a bag

and ashes?
וָאֵ֙פֶר֙ (wā·’ê·p̄er)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 665: Ashes

Will you call
תִּקְרָא־ (tiq·rā-)
Verb - Qal - Imperfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7121: To call, proclaim, read

this
הֲלָזֶה֙ (hă·lā·zeh)
Pg, Preposition-l | Pronoun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2088: This, that

a fast
צ֔וֹם (ṣō·wm)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6685: Fasting, a fast

and a day
וְי֥וֹם (wə·yō·wm)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

acceptable
רָצ֖וֹן (rā·ṣō·wn)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7522: Goodwill, favor, acceptance, will

to the LORD?
לַיהוָֽה׃ (Yah·weh)
Preposition-l | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel
(5) A day for a man to afflict his soul.--The phrase comes from Leviticus 16:29, and describes the soul-sorrow which was the true ideal of fasting. In contrast with this we have the picture, reminding us of Matthew 6:16, of the mechanical prostrations, which are as the waving of a bulrush in the breeze. The image suggests a new aspect of our Lord's statement, that the Baptist was not as "a reed shaken by the wind" (Matthew 11:7), scil., that his fasting was not outward and ceremonial, like that of the Pharisees.

Verse 5. - Is it such a fast that I have chosen, etc.? Do you suppose that such can be the fast commanded by me in the Law - a fast which is expressly called "a day for a man to afflict his soul"? Is afflicting one's soul simply bowing down one's head as a bulrush, and making one's couch on sackcloth and ashes? Surely it is much more than this. (On the employment of "sackcloth and ashes" in fasting, see Esther 4:3; Daniel 9:3; Jonah 3:6.) 58:3-12 A fast is a day to afflict the soul; if it does not express true sorrow for sin, and does not promote the putting away of sin, it is not a fast. These professors had shown sorrow on stated or occasioned fasts. But they indulged pride, covetousness, and malignant passions. To be liberal and merciful is more acceptable to God than mere fasting, which, without them, is vain and hypocritical. Many who seem humble in God's house, are hard at home, and harass their families. But no man's faith justifies, which does not work by love. Yet persons, families, neighbourhoods, churches, or nations, show repentance and sorrow for sin, by keeping a fast sincerely, and, from right motives, repenting, and doing good works. The heavy yoke of sin and oppression must be removed. As sin and sorrow dry the bones and weaken the strongest human constitution; so the duties of kindness and charity strengthen and refresh both body and mind. Those who do justly and love mercy, shall have the comfort, even in this world. Good works will bring the blessing of God, provided they are done from love to God and man, and wrought in the soul by the Holy Spirit.
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